Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The bitch is back

Yes, Georgina returned on last night's Gossip Girl. Unfortunately, her presence basically amounted to a cameo-- looks like the real Sparks will fly (see what I did there??) next week. It was still a good episode, though, with the kind of brewing craziness you just know will pay big dividends in the final episodes. The hour opened amusingly with Blair horrified by the prospect of actually having to use the subway. Nate suggests it'll be the quickest way for them to see each other in the fall, when he's at Columbia and she's at NYU. Gotta love Queen B, who declares, "This is why God invented car service." She's kind of like Daphne Zuniga in "Space Balls," when she's told she should only take what she needs to survive and protests, "I *need* my Imperial Hair Dryer to survive!" They also chose well by having the Bleeker St stop be the one in question, since its facade lists an alphabet soup of trains: 6DF. It's enough to give a girl a migraine. Even for these characters, though, it seemed a little much that they actually described a commute between the upper west and lower east side as "like being in a long distance relationship." C'mon, people, it's not like we're talking about *Brooklyn* here! Then again, Blair's line about "Nate may as well be going to school in Guam" seemed knowingly ridiculous. It's enough to scare Nate into securing an apartment in Murray Hill. (So wait, where is the money for this coming from again? His dad's in federal prison and he burned bridges with Grandpa so... um, how? Splainy.) He and Chuck discuss the issue while playing basketball (who knew these guys played sports or did anything besides drink and date?). Chuck says they can still discuss Blair, man-to-man, despite his own infamous past with her. But when C and B run into each other that night and Nate hears about it, he gets jealous and Chuck gets snide. Chuck suggests his friend is only getting the apartment to keep a close eye on his girlfriend. And Nate's subsequent decision to ask Blair to move in is even more transparent. (And again, I know this isn't a particularly realistic show but-- who lets their teenage kids shack up together for freshman year? I'm willing to accept teens getting into clubs and drinking whenever they like but that seems like another stretch!) The run-in occurs when Blair decides to go snooping after Serena's new squeeze, handsome playboy Gabriel. Serena's complaining about his flakiness and this immediately raises Blair's suspicions. When Chuck spots her staked out outside of Gabriel's place, he immediately knows what's up: "You're wearing your beret." (Too funny. An earlier Blair line about Dorota being "handy with surveillance equipment" was also amusing.) They see Gabriel getting into a cab with Poppie, his supposed ex, and report this to Serena. When she confronts him, he says that he's been forced to stay with her so that her investors won't pull funding from his Ponzi scheme-- I mean, charity investment. (Something about helping underprivileged African youth. Or something.) He swears he'll break it off with her in a week, and Serena's satisfied. Blair is understandably skeptical, and I couldn't help wondering why Serena is always willing to give loser-y guys second, third, and fourth chances. (The only decent guy we've seen her date is Dan, and even he's kind of a douche sometimes.) I wanted to shake her and say, "Serena, I'm queerer than a three dollar bill and *I* would make out with you. You're hot! You can do better than these jerks!" (I know, I know, I get so emotional when I'm talking about Serena's love life. She's just a good kid, and I worry about her.) Chuck and Blair orchestrate a meeting between Gabriel and Poppie in which he declares his love for Serena and shrugs off Poppie's threat to pull all her investors. Serena is convinced and even offers to help Gabriel find new backers among her mother and her high society pals. But Chuck and Blair aren't so easily swayed and remain determined to get to the bottom of the whole thing, especially when they learn that Butter, where Serena and Georgina supposedly ran into Gabriel in the first place, was closed on the night in question. Significantly, Blair chooses a trip to see Georgina with Chuck over spending the night with Nate at his apartment. They've decided that our favorite little Hellspawn is the only one who can put the issue to rest, so they drive out to some Jesus Camp where Georgina's been living to ask her. After spending the night in a limo waiting for it to open-- Chuck can't resist referencing the pair's first sexual encounter, natch-- Chuck says it's best if he talks to Blair's old enemy alone. Blair realizes that he only brought her along to get her away from Nate, but Chuck insists it was her decision. "I'm doing this for my best friend," Blair protests. But the tension between the two as their faces hover inches apart says it all. Of course, as promised in the previews, Georgina greets Chuck with a bear hug and shrieks, "Have you been saved?" He tells her it has to be an act aimed at escaping boot camp, though Georgina insists it's not and she's truly found Jesus. Meanwhile, Serena's waking up with Gabriel and decides to put him to the test, asking him about the alleged night at Butter. Does he remember her friend Georgina's "flaming red hair"? "Oh, I remember that," Gabriel replies. Busted! After Serena leaves, Poppie shows up and she and Gabriel are frantic that S might suspect the truth about what they're doing. It's become apparent that they are trying to ensnare the Van Der Woodsens and their wealthy friends in a bogus investment. Funniest bit, when Gabriel rails about not being given enough information about how he supposedly met S: "What the hell is Butter?!" A knock at the door arouses their suspicion that Serena's back, but it's actually Rufus, come to give Gabriel his check in person. Yep, he's investing, too, in a fool-hardy bid to fund Dan's college education. Ruh-roh! Meanwhile Serena calls Chuck, who confirms that Georgina doesn't remember the cad, either. (Funnily, Georgina says she's "prayed many times" over drugging S that night.) Chuck tells her he'll be home soon, but Blair's already taken off in the limo. She apologizes to Nate for abandoning him the previous night, but also wants to know if he just asked her to move in to keep a leash on her. He placates her for the moment, but the love triangle has officially been set in motion, and we all know who Blair is *really* destined to be with. Back in Humphrey land, the fairly un-involving we-need-money storyline-- is Rufus buying a ring to propose to Lily? what will he do now that the gallery isn't selling?-- bored me enough to focus only on stuff like Lily's latest obvious pregnancy-hiding clothes and the fact that Jenny has those awful bangs again. (I was also annoyed by her token reference to Eric's being "out of town." Doing what, exactly? Why don't you just pretend he doesn't exist like in the other frequent Eric-free episodes? I hope he was in P-town at a foam party or something.) There was a brief exchange between Rufus and Vanessa (who, without a gallery to serve coffee at, is probably questioning the meaning of life itself) that left me wondering, again, if those two will ever engage in any sort of massively inappropriate nookie. Why not? It could be fun, and I'm kinda bored of Lily and Rufus these days-- a teenage affair would stir things up. (Haven't they learned anything from Chuck and Blair? It's always more fun when you throw curves at your Core Couples.) Then there was the drunken confab between Vanessa and Dan in which she confessed to having slept with Chuck, twice. She also let it slip that Rufus is short on cash for Yale. I did wonder about the likelihood of a teenage girl being let in to freely drink beers with her teen friend-- guess this was my week to question the reality of Gossip Girl. (If I want hardcore realism, I probably shouldn't be watching this show in the first place.) But it was sort of funny to see Dan's reactions to his ex hooking up with the notorious bad boy, and referencing all the "STD tests" she was forced to undergo. But Vanessa is still boring, even when drunk, which only proves that she should try and seduce Rufus for one last stab at relevance. (I mean, seriously. The girl's now hawking Dove soap during the commercial breaks. She's the character equivalent of watching paint dry.) The end of the episode was promising, if predictable; Chuck mentions Blair and Georgina perks up at that and decides to accompany him back to Manhattan. Gossip Girl says something clever about the devil in disguise, and we're left wondering: was she faking the whole religious conversion, or was it only a matter of time before a trigger sent her back into Linda Blairsville? We'll find out next week.

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